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What are the Penalties for Domestic Violence in Massachusetts?

Updated: Mar 13

Domestic violence is a serious offense in Massachusetts law and can carry jail time, holding you without bond, and other serious penalties. If you're charged with a domestic violence offense, you need to contact a Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to begin preparing your defense.

What is Domestic Violence in Massachusetts?

The main domestic violence offense, assault and battery on a family or household member, consists of an assault and battery on someone with a certain relationship with you. The other person must be - (1) a spouse or former spouse, (2) have a child in common, or (3) have a substantial dating relationship or had one in the past.

Can I be Held in Jail for Domestic Violence Charges in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, you must be held for at least six hours on a domestic violence offense according to a new law. Furthermore, the judge must carefully weigh the victim's safety when deciding bail for someone accused of domestic violence.

Can I go to Prison for Domestic Violence in Massachusetts?

Assault and Battery on a Family or Household Member can be either a felony or a misdemeanor in Massachusetts, depending on whether you have a prior domestic violence offense. For a first offense, you can be punished up to two-and-a-half years in jail (or House of Corrections) and/or a $5,000 fine. For a second offense, you can be punished with a sentence of prison up to five years or a House of Corrections sentence up to two-and-a-half years.

Importantly, a domestic violence offense can affect your right to own a firearm and your immigration status.

If you're charged with a crime involving a family member or someone you've dated, you need to hire an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney immediately. Contact me today, and we'll get started on your defense.